The Thing About Hitting on Girls

The thing about Hitting On girls is that it’s embarrassing. It’s paradoxical, shameful, and sort of douchebag-ish. Are we supposed to Hit On girls? Do they want us to do that? Does that happen any more? Who draws the line? What does culture have to say? Hitting On girls seems confusing, and we’re provided mixed messages about its appropriateness. And in situations where it is indeed appropriate, we’re provided mixed messages about the appropriate way to carry it out.

Perhaps we disdain those who Hit On girls. Picture the bro and his wingman at a bar, strategizing. This picture seems predatory. Creepy. Right? But what is this other than Hitting On girls with a bit more of a logical, perhaps less oafish focus? Girls do not want to be Hit On; but girls want to be Hit On. “I wish he would just grow some balls and ask me out,” “Ugh, this total douchebag was hitting on me all night.”

And then there are the feminists, and there are the prudish-looking rich girls, and there are the untouchable-looking pretty girls. Do they want to be Hit On? What are the rules surrounding Hitting On those types? Do they mean to project that they don’t want to be Hit On? That they exist at a level “above” Hitting On?

What about unintentional Hitting On?

One time I unintentionally Hit On a girl. Immediately after it occurred (i.e. after I initiated the conversation with this one-liner that I totally did not intend to be a one-liner) the girl and I shared this sort of unspoken knowledge that we were now within, thanks to my remark, a certain context. We both knew that the ‘program’ that informed this context would need to be played out. The program was, of course, the one that had us go through certain amounts of eye contact, certain witticisms, and, basically, an assessment of whether we wanted to fuck each other that night.

This incident happened last weekend, in fact, and I have a girlfriend, which is why I write, truthfully, that I did not mean to hit on this girl; it was just that what I initially said to her put us in this context of “Dude Who Has Just Hit On Girl Finds Girl Similarly Interested.” The entire experience was uncomfortable and somewhat paradoxical, as I recognized that I had unintentionally given us predetermined roles to play – or a decision to make – and so I felt compelled to play it, softly and respectfully, so as to not break social norms/ be awkward, while at the same time being completely uninterested in the girl in a romantic capacity and so wanting to get myself out of the situation. In less self-aggrandizing terms, I unintentionally led her on for a brief moment and faced the task of resolving the consequent problems.

But I have the feeling that Hitting On is generally defined as an uncomfortable, awkward, and predatory thing. But when Hitting On is decidedly not uncomfortable, awkward, and predatory, it cannot be denied that it remains Hitting On (which, if articulated or realized during the actual Hitting On, would, paradoxically, carry with it the uncomfortable/ awkward/ predatory stigma of Hitting On), and it can not be denied that it’s also acceptable, because the person that is Hitting On is Getting It Right. In other words, when a dude succeeds at Hitting On a girl, it doesn’t seem he’s doing any Hitting On whatsoever (even though he is), and so it is OK. But the dude that does not succeed at Hitting On is gross.

And so delineating successful, non-predatory Hitting On with unsuccessful, uncomfortable Hitting On is a highly paradoxical/ confounding exercise. Which is a problem. If we Hit On a girl successfully, she doesn’t know that we’re Hitting On her, and so we’re “faking” her… and this is acceptable, because the whole thing feels good and exciting and positive for everyone. But if we Hit On a girl unsuccessfully, she knows we’re hitting on her, and as such, we aren’t “faking” her, and it’s both apparent that we’re trying to “fake” her and that she isn’t buying it, and so it’s annoying and creepy. It’s a paradox. That, or society wants us to Hit On girls but only if we are going to be successful. Which is like, a tall freaking order. TC mark

image – KoS


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  • Sara

    Key to being successful at hitting on a girl: be attractive enough to make her feel flattered that you are hitting on her. If you are not within her attractiveness scale, she's gonna be grossed out.

    • Jason

      That is remarkably shallow. Any girl that actually thinks that way is not worth the time it takes to hit on her.

      • David St Bernard

        Hitting On someone is a shallow approach, Jason.
        Hence, Sara's correct.

      • Sara

        It's not intentional, it's just a common natural reaction. Unfortunately, the first thing people judge others by is their appearance.

    • Carlos Ortiz

      That's why I never hit on girls, I don't feel either attractive or unnatractive.
      I think I must be to a certain extent, because girls do approach me from time to time but I don't notice if I'm being hit on unless they are blunt like by giving me their phone number or start rubbing on me at a rave or just say it, and even then I don't feel attractive, I just know she finds me attractive and even then it's hard for me to internalize it.

      • Joseph Ernest Harper

        Just checked out yr fb. Fully hot bro.

      • Carlos Ortiz

        You can't even see my pictures.

      • Joseph Ernest Harper


    • Joseph Ernest Harper


    • Michael Koh

      Thanks for affirming how shallow we all are

    • Greg Petliski

      If thats true then why do we see so many unbalanced couples where the woman is much more physically attractive than the man?

  • Ppp

    This is pointless.

    • Walt

      I don't think it's pointless, good observation and pretty accurate. Failing at hitting on a girl is so awkward…

    • Tom Smith

      Comments like this are on the sex/modern life TC articles all the time. I don't get it.
      What do you think this site is about?

  • Nathalie

    when you want to Hit On Girl,
    find Way To Make Conversation (drink, music, smile, whatever)
    after 3 Q&A you'll know If She's In2U
    if you see that She Is Freaked Out or She Is Annoyed -> abort mission and find new target.
    if she is interested, congratulations -> you are Getting Hit On By A Girl

    • EmiliaBedelia

      “find a way to make conversation” is bad advice. “find a way to make conversation” is also good advice.

    • Nicholas Cox

      you should write a book

  • Kyle Angeletti

    pretty accurate.

    which is why having an 'In' makes said paradoxical exercise exponentially less creepy, and much easier/less awkward for all those involved.

    • Ben

      This is exactly right.

  • ooIIIoo

    Akwardest period in dating history. Girls mostly hate it too. We need to figure out new rituals asap! Can someone make a website, or something?

  • Sas Jam

    The trick seems to be in being a well-rounded conversationalist. Involve someone in something that doesn't immediately imply “WANT SEX”. There's a definite skill in just bouncing off of peoples spoken and body language. The only hurdle is developing the confidence to come off as normal as possible. I don't think it should be weird for anyone to approach you in a bar/club setting. I get the feeling that it's become an annoyance because of all the goobers doing it wrong.

    • Brandon scott gorrell

      yea but you used 'trick' in your first line which is exactly the paradox i'm speaking of – you're trying to hide the fact that you “WANT SEX” by “involving someone in something that doesn't immediately imply “WANT SEX”

      which isn't bad of course, just like, baffling

      • Naked&Famous

        The goal isn't always to have sex. I think the goal is just to have a successful flirtation. If it ends in sex then great. If it ends with the exchange of phone numbers, well that's good, too. If nothing comes from the interaction other than some laughs and a general positive feeling then I'm usually ok with it, as well. Having a fun, interesting, exciting, memorable conversation/flirtation with a beautiful girl is a sublimely great feeling. Sex is just reaping what you've sewn. Maybe understanding that is the 'trick.'

  • natural

    “The thing about Hitting On girls is that it’s embarrassing. It’s paradoxical, shameful, and sort of douchebag-ish. Are we supposed to Hit On girls? Do they want us to do that? Does that happen any more? Who draws the line? What does culture have to say?”

    What a fop.

  • Brian McElmurry

    Dude, you write about paradoxs/conflicting things so well, like relationships, hitting on. Love the grey areas you go into. It seems to add things to the reader's life. Like the not trying to logisize your girlfriends feelings (in your ten commandments piece, I believe). So fucking true.

    • Brandon

      thanks brian

  • EmiliaBedelia

    i think the problem lies in the term “hitting on” — it implies a one-sided action, that is usually nonreciprocated and forceful.

    i think the big question is “how to 'get on' with a girl/guy”

  • Travis Baugh

    wondering what the unintentional one liner and its context were…

    • joecastagna

      Yeah, why did he not just tell us what he siad, it could not have been that bad.

  • Nicholas Cox

    The penultimate sentence of this article is indefinitely generalizable. Society wants us to do anything we want as long as we can pull it off gracefully.

    Basically, we are not allowed to fail—which is why so many of us just don't try.

  • GQ

    girls….. ¡Ay, caramba!

  • Emily

    Does getting hit on only mean sex?

  • http://my.staff.get/it jeez

    hitting on girls is fun

  • Michael Koh

    I hit them

  • gunkygook

    This is a mean comment and what's worse, a character assassination. And you must feel sorry for my dastardization. Your substandard SG stratagem couldn't even redeem me.

  • gunkygook

    Sorry, the below comment was meant to be on the Sasha Grey & hipsters piece

  • Tommmmmm

    good thing i'm too scared of girls to hit on them.

  • george brostanza

    i'm just gonna start raping bitches. That way i get something out of it either way.

    • Flood


      • george brostanza

        i was kidding. i only rape babies.

  • george brostanza

    question though: how could you tell the difference between recieving a compliment and being hit on? I mean those could represent two completely different things.

  • Alex Thayer

    you don't like, “hit on girls”, bros. you just maybe converse with them in a flirt-like fashion (if they're personally attractive to you, if not, you're just a punk ass bitch, or maybe not drinking/abusing “substances”, or whatever, enough to not be a punk ass bitch)

    maybe you'll fuck, maybe you won't. depends on your game, which doesn't necessarily imply that game is even a thing that dudes have. i'm just sayin'

    • natural

      You're right. Flirting with girls doesn't need all of this fucking analysis.

  • Summ

    Not everyone wants to be hit on

  • SousChefGerard

    Pretending to be asexual works wonders until you get the adrenaline boner when she touches you.

  • KAS

    the word ” hit on” is used is because, if you did not do it right, you get hit.
    therefore, attempt only if confident, and take your own risk

  • joecastagna

    This was possibly one of the worst things I have ever read. I feel confused and now have a headache. Apparently you suck at talking to women. How did you get a girlfriend anyway?

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